Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bonuses and Stacking Abilities

One of the reasons I even started thinking about a new edition was the difficulty I was having stacking abilities and granting bonuses (remember my super-suit example from about ten posts ago?). Here’s how it’s playing out conceptually right now…

- A shift is an automatic modifier to the rating of an ability. This is the most powerful bonus, since it adds right to the rating. I think that racial abilities grant a shift; this actually gets more powerful as you increase an ability. If dwarves get a +1 shift to stamina, this only amounts to 1 character point in bonus when your dwarf has stamina +1. Conversely, when you move your Stamina to +8, this +1 shift (to +9) is worth 5 character points. I like that this scales with character growth- your racial bonus gets ‘better’ as you grow, and is worth more over time- assuming that you continue putting character points into that ability.

- A boost is a temporary improvement to an ability through an increase in the character points invested into it. If you purchase a spell to boost the target’s might, and this is linked to your lightning bolt +8, you invest 8 character points into the target’s might. This means that if your target has might +3 (4 character points), you boost his might to +6 (12 character points). Boost rules also apply when you drink a potion that grants a bonus, when you put on powered armor that grants you a bonus, or when two characters work together to do something (when two heroes with might +5 try to work together to hold up a falling bridge, they have a combined might of +7- the two ratings of 9 character points add together to 18 character points- this is 2 shy of +8, so goes to +7). I think that energize weapon works this way too… if you have flame magic +8 and you use this to imbue a sword with flame energy, you add 8 CPs to the rating of the sword. If the sword is +3 right now [4 CPs] you improve it to 12 CPs, or +6. If it’s already +8 [20 CPs], you increase it to +9 [28 CPs]. You’d need to imbue 2 more points into the sword to get it to +10. Most boost spells would allow you to distribute these among your team- so if you boost might and have an extra point or two lingering after boosting your best fighter, you can boost your own might as well (even if it only brings you from +0 to +1 or +2, it still could prove handy).

- Stacking is when two different abilities add together to give a new total. Your hero’s might rating + his weapon rating is stacking; you get to add the two bonuses together. The previous example (last post) for the Invisible Girl allows her to stack her invisibility with her stealth. Stacking only happens when two different abilities combine. One of the options for using your Resolve points would be to stack abilities. You stack your might with your fighting to land an incredibly powerful strike; you stack focus with stamina to fight off the effects of a particularly powerful venom. Basically, you would always stack your top ability with the ability in question; as a powerful caster with Bolt of Cold +10, you will always stack a defensive ability with your bolt of cold when needed; this makes sense. Warding off the bite of a powerful dragon and deflecting the bolt of an enemy wizard would both cause you to use your ice magic to bolster your other abilities, if using Resolve points. A paladin would use his high fighting to bolster his other abilities through resolve. This actually solves one of the things I was concerned with about healing. If you link healing to intuition (the most reasonable connection, I’d think), you can stack other abilities with it to heal more by spending points from your Resolve pool. Sweet. I like that this gives you more tactical options, and makes more sense for your hero. Conversely, if you used Resolve to bolster your primary ability, you’d have to use a secondary ability to do it; with Fighting +8 (your best ability) and Stamina +6 (your second-best), you could use a Resolve point to stack your stamina with your fighting for one strike, throwing your body into the blow. This is pretty nifty.

Heh. I just solved a problem I had slated for later… Resolve (the replacement for hero points), gives you a pool of opportunities to stack abilities each scene. With Resolve +8, you get 8 times you can stack two abilities together on a single roll (as long as you can justify how and why you’re doing this). This does allow you to double-dip some; you use your fighting + precision to aim directly at a narrow chink in your foe’s armor, and then you still roll precision + weapon damage on the subsequent damage roll; precision counts twice on this particular attack. However, you can’t simply double a single ability; your Fighting is +9 and your next-best ability is +3, so you double your Fighting! Nope. You take your Fighting +9 and add your Precision +3 to the strike.